PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — The Arians Family Foundation’s two-day charity event got rolling Sunday night at Innisbrook, with the gala and dinner ahead of Monday’s golf outing.
It is the 7th annual AFF Golf Classic, being held for the first time in Florida. The proceeds support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and GAL (Guardian Ad Litum). It’s a cause that’s dear to the hearts of Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians and his wife, Christine.
“I volunteered as a child advocate for years,” said Christine Arians. “I would probably still be doing that but (Bruce) decided he wanted to form a foundation, which is actually a great thing because not only do all the child advocate organizations need funding but they need to get the word out so that people understand that child advocates speak-up for the best interests of a child in foster care who really has nobody else.”
Walking the red carpet ahead of the event were Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, to name a few. Brady spoke with the media about supporting his head coach and how his rehab is going after that off-season knee surgery.
“It’s kind of the only thing that slows me down in life is something like that,” Brady said. “I’m cool with it. It’s just part of what you deal with. Things come up. You deal with them the best way that you can with the best opportunity to get better and improve…. I feel pretty good. I don’t know if I could go this week but we’ll see how things play out.”
Brady’s pal, Gronkowski was equally as excited as his teammates to be there to support B.A.
“It means a lot to me,” Gronkowski said. “Ever since I got to the NFL, even with the Patriots, we always gave back to the community. Just to come here with the Buccaneers organization and just seeing Head Coach Bruce Arians just carrying that tradition that I’ve seen throughout my whole career is pretty cool. To come out and support him, I mean he took care of us all season. He was a great coach all season to us players. It’s just cool to come back and give back to the community but also support Coach Arians. He’s our Super Bowl Champion coach so you got to stick together and it’s cool to be out here.”
“It’s amazing,” said Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians. “I can’t thank the Bucs enough. They’re our title sponsor. And the guys, they give-up their time and come out and that’s what makes the event. People want to see them. And again, can’t thank them enough for giving-up time but everybody else is giving-up their money.”